Hello, I am Randy and I am a retired U.S. Coast Guardsman (23 years). I was fortunate enough to experience different aspects of the CG by starting my career on board the largest ice breaker in the U.S., the USCGC Glacier WAGB-4. I served on the Glacier from 1973 to 1975 and made one Arctic trip to Point Barrel AK and two Antarctic trips (deck force and Quartermaster).
My next assignment was at USCG Base St. Louis, MO. where I was a boat engineer
at a very busy search and rescue
unit on the Mississippi
River (mostly body recovery).
My next CG assignment was at the Navy
Aviation Training Center in Lakehurst NJ. where I attended the Aviation Survival Technician school
which included ALSE, Ordinance / Weapons, and Para-rigger training. As I understand, this was the only military school
that put you out FREE-FALL on your first jump. Yes, I jumped from a perfectly good aircraft!!
Next I was off to my first CG aviation unit, Traverse City, MI. and the rest is history
. Kodiak AK (three tours), Elizabeth City, NC, Clearwater, FL, two recruiting tours, and I retired at Aviation Training Center, Mobile, AL in 1996. I crewed on HU-16, HC-130H, and HU-25A aircraft.
Soon after retirement
, I started Aviation Survival Technologies and Marine
Survival Technologies. My first contract
was inspecting all aviation life support equipment
carried by the Marine Safety
Offices in the Eighth CG District. They used a special vest that required inspections every six months. Then I decided to start selling products on-line and I designed a water
survival kit that could be worn by General Aviation Pilots during flight.
During my time in the CG, I was always intrigued by survival, and in particular, the physiology of it. How do people react and how do they perform under traumatic conditions. I often interviewed survivors, and from this, I formed my training around these comments. I was also fortunate enough to attend the Alaska
Education Assoc. in Sitka AK where they taught "how to teach" survival. During this school, I was actually dropped offshore
and had to swim to shore and survive for three days with what I had on me. There was three foot of snow on the beach when we reached it!
Although I am a purveyor of survival equipment
, I will honor the conditions I agreed to with this forum. I will not direct anyone to my sites and I will not try to sell anything on here. My information is only to help anyone who has questions or can use my information to help them someday. I'm a big proponent of wearing life vests while on the water
(after seeing some of what I saw on the Mississippi
, you would be too.), and I am also very knowledgeable about hypothermia and am trying to get the word out that hypothermia is very prominent in the Gulf Coast
areas or any waters cooler than 70 degrees.
Here's a link to a video that a shipmate made about how we got stranded in Antarctica in 1975